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December 21, 2009

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evagrius

I was intrigued by the remarks about "rationed health care' as if health insurance companies don't already do this.

chuck

So true. It gets rationed now in the most unChristian way I can imagine....if you cannot afford it, you don't get it....

zero

when i watch these senators (both repub and dems), among others, many who call themselves christian; say they are against medicare for all i wonder if they don't really just worship at the feet of false gods, corporate interests of all types.

not only do insurance companies ration care, so do doctors. call a doctor's office in need of immediate care a person is often told they can get an appointment in a few weeks! or they tell the person they can go to the emergency room. since emergency room medicine is so expensive and everyone is complaining about cost how is it that doctors think this is a solution?

Kate

I wished you hadn't linked to that blog. I feel dirty now.

zero

it is slimy, isn't it, kate? vile slugs.

fundamentalist

I work for a health care insurance company, and I know that Medicare does more rationing than the private side. We will give people whatever care they are willing to pay for. BTW, our profit margin is 4%. As for the poor, none of the hospitals we work with turn away anyone. We pay into a fund, as do our hospitals, that takes care of those who don't have insurance.

evagrius

"We will give people whatever care they are willing to pay for.'

Of course. They paid for it.

fundamentalist

Of course they paid for it! We're a company, not a charity. But we do have a charitable arm, as I wrote, that pays for those who can't pay. The idea that people die for lack of health care is just a myth.

Philip Koplin

"The idea that people die for lack of health care is just a myth."

Sometimes it's better to just shrug and walk away.

chuck

Yes, Philip, so true. Of course, fundamentalist, one wonders what shape one has to be in to be considered "in need" of health care? One can find anyone of a number of folks who die for failure to have access to health care. BTW, the problem is not the 4 percent profit margin, it is the remarkably high administrative costs, often tied to executive compensation and keeping a bevy of staff and lawyers to support turning down claims. A past CEO of BCBS made this point years ago. As to the claim about medicare rationing more than the private side would be laughable if it were not so sad. The very reason Medicare arose in the first place was because seniors could not get adequate access--the were being rationed out totally.

zero

there was a time when all health insurance companies were non-profit. now that would be providing a needed service to the people of america; not just a "business". just like with the financial industry, congress changed the rules and allowed yet another corporate segment of this country to be predators upon the citizens. there's way too little shame in this country. way too little from those who should be ashamed of themselves. wonder how many of those who work in the health insurance industry would be pleased if they were on the blunt end of the industry's policies and practices.

so true, philip.

chuck

Right, zero, and the BCBS exec was agreeing with what you say.

zero

i got that, mr loopy. just blowing off steam after the mess the senate has made of the health care "reform" bill. vile slugs indeed.

zero

if provisions of the current bill survive the house/senate compromise, average americans will be taxed on the "new" plans beginning next year even though there's no "benefit" for five years. also, working americans who are fortunate enough to have health insurance through their employment will be paying taxes on these so called "cadillac" plans! and forced to buy insurance through a private company if they have none; with penalties for failure to do so. additionally policies will cost three times more for those with preexisting conditions and five times more for older persons not yet eligible for medicare. this is good for americans? we've been had. and we've been had by obama and everyone around him and the special interests he is serving.

d beasley

As a hospital chaplain I accompanied a man to his wife's funeral. I rode in the ambulance with him from the hospital to the funeral home. He was paralized from the neck down from a fall off a ladder at his home. He had been a neighborhood fixit guy, uninsured, for his neighbors for decades, but as an elderly man in his late 70's he fell and did not have insurance. The hospital took him in, kept him alive and unable to place him in a nursing home they kept him. They took his house. When his wife received the notice that the hospital would take the house IF some monetary arrangement was not provided to pay his bill to the hospital she had a minor stroke. She checked into the same hospital and was released after 3 days. A week later she received the final notice from the hospital as to their taking over her home and she dropped dead from a heart attack. A few days later when they found her they found the notice on the table above her body. At the funeral home barely able to see the his wife in the casket from his stretcher the old man wept. Merry Christmas America.

d beasley

Oh. The hospital latter that year began building new quarters for their upper exchelon staff. As an artist I have seen pictures of ceasar's roman style court yards and what the hospital did for that office space's enclosed space before you get to the offices was similar. Eight Giant Palm Trees inside the office space in polished granite and marble floors and walls. The upper echelon distanced themselves in so many ways from the corridors of the hospital.

Doug

Such is the attitude when we feel entitled to the services and labor of others. Chuck, I feel entitled to your new book, and educating myself ought to be a human right, shouldn't it? Should I have to pay for your book to read it? Should anybody? What about Sojourners periodicals... why should we have to pay for something (information) that ought to be a basic human right?

Envy is a terrible master. (And, before somebody misunderstands me, I'm not talking about the "envy" of those in need toward those who have; I don't blame anybody for wanting something they don't have. I'm talking about all your do-gooders who don't have enough to take care of all the poor yourself, so you join forces with the State to make the wealthy pay for your envy, then call it "social justice.")

Doug

As for the main post itself, yes, it is sickening. I actually do feel dirty reading it, like a previous commenter said.

zero

as for the main post itself being sickening, doug? not as sickening as your response to d beasley. bah humbug. it appears that you are the one with envy. so much do you want to identify with those of wealth in this country (regardless of how it's earned) that you can't even acknowledge that some things just shouldn't be in the name of gaining a dollar. it seems to me you are the one who has the sense of entitlement, just like churchill's quote offered in the previous post: why should all be miserable when a few can be just fine. as if that makes it all better for the world. hey! some have to be sacrificed, right?

as for purchasing chuck's books or anyone else's, there's a great place called the public library. tax supported book purchases for the benefit of all who wish to read them (even people who can afford to purchase them!). tax dollars i gladly pay.

oh, and i posted that response to your question again on the previous post but most likely you won't attend to that either.

i don't know whether to feel anger or sadness when i read your imput to this blog.
certainly, on this the eve of the celebration of the birth of jesus christ and what that's supposed to mean, this attitude sickens me. merry christmas.

chuck

Doug, my friend, you really do not know the motives of anyone on these matters. At best, what you can say is that, if you felt that way, it would be driven my envy. So be it. I know it makes it easier, psychologically, to dismiss the actions of those you disagree with when you can attribute them to improper motivations. The fact that this creates more cognitive consonance does not make it so, of course. I will be happy to rest with God's judgment about my understanding of his call to us and his articulation of social justice, and will happily be accountable to him for it.

If you are really comparing the preservation of life with access to reading materials.....we really are on different pages. And, if you think building palatial offices for execs when folks are dying or being bankrupted...well, again, different pages.

By the way, I like John and Stan's book "Beyond Foundationalism," often use it in my course on theological method.

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